Edinburgh may not get £20m bus dividend for tram extension

 

The boss of Lothian buses has warned that there is no guarantee that the council-owned company will provide a £20m contribution to Edinburgh’s planned tram extension.

Answering questions at Edinburgh City Council’s Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee, Richard Hall emphasised that the firm, which is jointly owned by the City Council and the smaller Lothian councils, would have to make investment decisions in its own best interests.

”Local
A computer generated image of the planned tram extension

Mr Hall was asked by Labour councillor Gordon Monroe whether he was confident recent investment decisions would not ‘imperil’ the anticipated ‘exceptional dividend’ that the firm is expected to provide to fill a £20m funding gap for the £207m extension of the city’s tram network to Leith and Newhaven.

He said: ‘The payment of base dividend or extraordinary dividend…is not guaranteed. The board has to review that the business trading is significant, that it’s appropriate and that the business is able to continue investing in terms of making sure it sits in the right place in the market. So that’s subject to annual review.

‘So no board, no managing director, no officer of the company can ever guarantee that. We can’t guarantee it because that’s set out in the articles of association that were written by the city some years ago.’

He added: ‘So when we set out our business plan against not only paying our base dividend but the request from the city for an extraordinary dividend, we looked at how we would achieve that And we have to invest in our fleet – it’s critical.

‘We have to invest in our staff – whether that’s in pay or whether that’s in facilities or whatever. We have to invest in our property portfolio to make sure it’s fit for purpose.’

”Local
Mr Hall with former transport minister Humza Yousaf

On the issue of moving towards low-emission buses, Mr Hall said, the issue was that ‘the technology is not mature’.

He said: ‘The board has to be very cognisant that when they are making investment decisions they are making the right decisions. We’ve dipped our toe into the water with some electric vehicles to try to understand the technologies.’

He cited the example of the Chinese city of Shenzen, which converted to electric buses in three years but needed twice as many buses for the same coverage.

He said: ‘An electric bus today will cost approximately 100% more than a diesel bus. So, that return and how do you generate the revenues and we’re a commercially generated company; we don’t receive any subsidies from the city.

We receive some subsidy from the Scottish Government…but if we are going to increase the investment levels on products, there’s only one way we can get that – through the farebox.’

He concluded: ‘We’re making the best value decisions going forward.’

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Head of ICT

Warwick District Council
Up to £65,000
You will be supporting our shared vision to be a carbon-neutral district by 2030 and... Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwick District Council

Chief Executive

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council
Package to £149k
Seeking applications from impressive, broadspectrum leaders, with a close and agile understanding of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Basingstoke, Hampshire
Recuriter: Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Director, Place & Environment

Walsall Council
Up to £81,647 - £94,208 + benefits
Put your all into Walsall Walsall, West Midlands
Recuriter: Walsall Council

Development Management Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782 per annum
The successful applicant for this post will be capable of taking the lead on work within... Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Highways and Traffic Management Group Manager

Plymouth City Council
£43,662 – £48,497
Are you looking for an exciting opportunity to lead a high performing, friendly and dynamic team Highways Team? Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Apprentice Gas Heating Engineer

City of York Council
£12,443.89 per annum
You will work within the Heating Team (Building Services) and with other teams to deliver a Heating Repairs Service to the residents of York. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Chair of the Board of Directors - Norwich City Services

Norwich City Council
£10,000 per annum
Join Norwich City Services Ltd and transform the way we look after our city and our people. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norwich City Council

2x Environmental Health Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
Up to £42,336
We are seeking to appoint two qualified Environmental Health Officers to work within our Environmental Health Team Dacorum, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Country Parks Trading Officer

Northumberland County Council
£21,589 - £23,836
Countryside Parks Trading Officer Country Parks including Druridge Bay
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Support Office (Back Office Systems)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band E, £25,295- £28,785
An opportunity to develop and manage back office systems for Environmental Protection, Development Control, Environmental Health and Building Control. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Head of Environmental Services

City of York Council
Grade 12 Level 1- 4 £49,275 to £59,079 (basic pay plus a supplement up to £59,079)
Want to Live and Work in the Best City? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Operational Manager - 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£48,172 - £49,047
This role is based within The Environment Service within the Directorate of Economy and Infrastructure. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Relief Minibus Driver

North Yorkshire County Council
£17,711
We are looking for a caring, flexible and committed person to help us provide this transport. Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Principal Transport Officer (Policy)

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
£38,813 To £40,760 per annum
This is an exciting opportunity for an energetic and motivated individual to drive forward transport policy to... St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Management Leader

City of York Council
£35,500 to £40,710 per annum
City of York Council have an exciting opportunity for an experienced transport professional to lead our Traffic Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Traffic Project Officer

City of York Council
£26,875 to £29,783 per annum
City of York Council have a great opportunity for a Projects Officer to join our busy Traffic Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39.774 - £42.684
The successful candidate needs to have the professionalism, skills and abilities to... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Disposals and Acquisitions Surveyor

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated individual, who is prepared to work flexibly and as part of a team, in... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Parking Operations Officer - 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
Are you a hard-working individual, who enjoys working outdoors in all weather conditions? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Essex Contact Tracing Service - Team Lead - Call Handler

Essex County Council
£21.50 - £34.20 per hour + Weekdays £21.50, Sat £27.80 Sun & BH £34.20
Home Based Opportunity 6-hour shifts
Recuriter: Essex County Council